Storm Ravaged Northeast Rooftops Require Attention – Tips For Homeowners
The recent major storm in the Northeast United States has caused untold damage. After living through last year's Irene, which pales in comparison, we can expect many roofing claims to be filed with insurance companies.
Insurance companies vary in how they handle claims for homeowners, but there is a digital file on each property and each insured homeowner. Be sure that if you have filed multiple claims in the past few years, that there will be a harder time for you than for the homeowners that are filing for the first time this year. It seems unfair, but it is the very nature, human nature, that can drive a claim into the never-never land of the old Mexican Stand-Off. Insurance companies will never speak the unspoken 'F' word ('F' short for fraud), but the propensity for shady dealings is strong when dealing with insurance claims.
Some folks do everything right and the claim process goes along smoothly and everyone is happy. Others seem to have more trouble. Communication is the key. At the first sign of trouble, call your insurance representative and log the incident. Do not wait for anyone to document your claim. Start by taking pictures. Next you will need estimates.
You have to engage contractors. This is work. The one thing to remember is that this is work for the contractor, also. You have to have communication skills to get this done properly. First, you need to contact a reputable contractor. If you want a good and descriptive written estimate, you certainly don't want to start skimming the bottom of the barrel for a contractor. You will need to speak with someone at each of three good companies and sell yourself as someone that has a problem and wants it fixed. You need not mention the insurance element unless it is asked of you about the funding source. It should not matter to the contractor, but it does. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the contractor.
The better the contractor, the better the price he gets for his work, right? Well, in the insurance adjuster's world, everything gets dumped into a computer program that yields a number that often is not representative of the site conditions.
Often with the contractor in the middle of the proverbial vice between potential client and client's insurance adjuster's low number, one can see that inspiration for the contractor evaporates quickly. So, it is up to you to enhance the mood and build value as to your expectations of the completed repair. Let the contractor know that you want this job done right and you want it done quickly. This way you have a better chance of getting a well written proposal and a higher number on the bottom line.
Who you engage for the services is your business. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Getting the buck for the work to be done properly is paramount in the early stages. In some States, private insurance adjusters are legal, but in most cases they do not earn their percentage of the claim. You can do the job by playing the game above board and with integrity.
Keep in touch with your insurance company and only send the three proposals that reflect your best interests. Do not send in a bid from a low-baller. Throw that bid away! You would not want a cut rate contractor working on your house, so why send in that low end proposal? Go to market as many times as it takes to get three professional bids. So many times homeowners make the mistake of sending in low-ball bids, only to realize that they have short changed themselves, lowering the claim amount by way of setting the bar too low to achieve real satisfaction.
In the Philadelphia area Roof Repair can be a real doggy-dog game as the contractors out there are a dime a dozen. Call a reputable contractor who has the experience and the expertise and track record to restore your home to original condition.